Gov.’s budget proposal: fix economy by giving teachers, state employees $700-$2100 pay cut

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Gov. Susana rolled out her FY18 proposed state budget this week. In a state with the nation’s largest income inequality gap and slowest economies, Martinez’s proposes to cut wages to state employees and teachers by 3.5% – that’s $700 – $2100 per worker – while protecting handouts to some of New Mexico’s most profitable companies, says two of the state’s largest worker unions. 

AFT-NM, representing teachers (a significant portion of local teacher salaries come from state funding, ,waning the governor’s pay cut proposal would be imposed on teachers at the local level):

“Governor Martinez’s proposals will take money out of the pockets of our working families through retirement deductions and jeopardize our schools’ ability to provide safe, quality instruction for our students by ‘sweeping’ hard-saved cash reserves from their budgets.

“The bottom line is this: Governor Martinez is telling working New Mexicans to ‘tighten their belts’ while hoping we don’t notice she’s placed it around our necks.”

Here’s the analysis from AFSCME, the union represnting state blue-collar and white-collar workers:

After creating a $300 million deficit at a time when other states are running surpluses, Gov. Martinez announced yesterday that she plans to make up the deficit by taking anywhere from $700 to $2,000 from each and every state and university employee in New Mexico.

Call Gov. Martinez’ office [505-476-2200] and tell her that public employees should not pay for her deficit. “Please don’t balance the budget by using pay cuts of any kind–including pension pay swaps–on public employees”

Show respect to the person answering the phones!

The centerpiece of her proposal to make up her own deficit is to enact a 3.5% pay cut for every state and university employee. She’s calling it a “pension pay swap”, but all it means is that you take home less and the state keeps all that money–none of it actually stays with the pension funds. It’s a pay cut, pure and simple.  

The worst part is that there are so many easier, fairer fixes that are better for our economy than picking the pockets of hard-working families. She could close the Wall Street speculator loophole. She could close corporate tax loopholes. She could close the loophole for out-of-state retailers and help our New Mexico businesses by ensuring equal tax levels. She could adjust flat taxes for inflation so we don’t have automatic revenue reductions in real dollars each year.  

Not one of these is a tax increase–these ideas are all simply closing loopholes or preventing further tax giveaways, and they would easily cover our deficit. We’ve seen whose side Gov. Martinez continues to be on–now it’s our job to convince legislators and her to be on OUR side.

Call Gov. Martinez’ office and tell them that public employees should not pay for her deficit. Flood her office with calls from yourself, family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We may not change her mind, but at least she and her staff will know that the people of New Mexico are sick of watching her line the pockets of rich donors while taking money from middle class and low income workers.  

As awful as she is being to all of us, please show respect to the secretaries and administrative staff who have to answer her phones.

Gov. Martinez’ office: 505-476-2200

“Please don’t balance the budget by using pay cuts of any kind–including pension pay swaps–on public employees”